Veteran Danish double bass player and music educator Jens Jefsen performed with some of the greatest American jazz musicians – Dizzy gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster, Johnny Griffin and Roy Eldridge, among many others, still, his own definition of jazz is much more inclusive. Jefsen ninth solo album, «A Secret Sigh», offers his unique vision to a bass-centered jazz album that does not sound too much deep-toned.
Jefsen began working on this album in his mini studio, recording 12 original compositions, himself playing alone multiple parts on the double bass, basic rhythmic patterns and leading roles. Then he invited to his studio nine musicians – among them drummer Morten Lund and trumpeter Jakob Buchanan, one at the time, and asked them to add their «fresh charm» to the basic solo bass pieces.
The diverse and intimate pieces stress Jefsen playful approach, commanding but with a sharp sense of humor, tasteful and nuanced and always rooted in strong rhythmic basis but certainly not bound to the strict, archaic role of time keeper. Jefsen concise compositions follow straight-ahead song-like structure. Few piece stand out – the duet with cellist Maria Edlund on «Behavior Modification», as she contrasts Jefsen rhythmic approach with looser, lyrical improvisation; the amused, nuevo-tango of «Crying Wine» with bandoneon player Christian Gerber and vocalist Jullie Hjetland; «Amygdala», the contemplative duet with Jakob Buchanan on flugelhorn; and the playful, game-like solo «Bass Meets Saw».
Jens Jefsen (b, keys, wine glasses, saw, shaker, v, perc), Christian Gerber (bandoneon), Hans Esbjerg (keys), Jakob Buchanan (flh), Jullie Hjetland (v), Maria Edlund (c), Michael Bladt (cl, afl, ts), Morten Lund (dr, perc), Oskar Jefsen (v), Uffe Steen (g)